Carrying Forward the Spirit of "Public" Artisans and Providing a “Nankai Project” for Poverty Alleviation through Education in the New Era


Under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, Nankai University is resolutely implementing the deployment requirements of the Ministry of Education, giving full play to its advantages in educational resources, and making constant efforts to help Zhuanglang County in Gansu Province in the field of relieving poverty through education.

In Zhuanglang County, rural primary and middle school students are “playing” to promote learning and feeling the effects of new achievement through well-rounded education in developing classrooms for the “dedication to public interests and acquisition of all-round capability” as funded by Nankai University (hereinafter referred to as the “public and capability” classroom). On this basis, Nankai University has learned from the concept of the Luban Workshop, an international famous brand of vocational education in Tianjin, and combines it with the characteristics of primary and secondary school students to upgrade the public and capability classroom. Two Luban Workshops in Nankai University, which carry out labor education and temper the spirit of craftsmen, have been completed. In addition, Nankai University also gives full play to  hardware and software educational resources, such as the voluntary teacher team of graduate students, Nankai Library and “reading booth”. It enables children to grow up better and provide a “Nankai Project” for relieving poverty through education in the new era.

Education for Both “Dedication to Public Interests and Acquisition of All-round Capability” Cannot be Missing

This is a small classroom, but it contains a large amount of energy!

“The ‘public and capability’ classroom makes students' hearts return to school!” Speaking of the ‘public and capability’ classroom, Xu Quanyun, principal of Wanquan Middle School in Zhuanglang County, said the classroom not only makes students more interested in learning, but also plays an important role in controlling dropout rates.

Students Feng, Wei and Xi had been a headache to the teacher of Wanquan Middle school. With low interest in learning, they once even dropped out of school and are not willing to return no matter how stridently teachers and parents persuade. Then, a “public and capability” classroom built by Nankai University was located in Wanquan Middle School in the second half of 2019. This classroom integrates the functions of science and technology, music, art, calligraphy and so on. Not only does it have modern equipment as hard power to strengthen the foundation but also it uses soft power to build a patriotic soul and transmits the patriotic concept of dedication to public interests, acquisition of all-round capability, and aspiration for progress with each day via a “three patriotic questions” themed wall and other cultural elements, which cultivates students' “public responsibility” for patriotic struggle and exercises their “true capability” to seek knowledge. It makes primary and middle school students in Zhuanglang County feel the rapid development of science and technology, and become more determined to “study for the rise of China”.

Knowing that a “public and capability” classroom was built in Wanquan Middle School, students Feng, Wei and Xi took the initiative to return to the school, and make full use of all kinds of equipment in the classroom. They can operate AI robots and drones, experience 3D printing technology, assemble models of electric vehicles by themselves, and conduct simple programming. They can also pick up and clear obstacles on the road with robotic arms. In view of the large number of schools, large number of students and unbalanced distribution of educational resources in rural areas of Zhuanglang County, Nankai University has focused on promoting the equalization and high-quality of local basic educational resources, and has increased its efforts to assist schools at the township level in Zhuanglang County to develop its educational careers, putting good steel to good use and building “public and capability” classrooms in townships.

At present, Nankai University and its alumni have invested nearly 6 million RMB to build 29 “public and capability” classrooms in Zhuanglang County. In 2020, Nankai University and Nankai alumni will invest another 3.6 million RMB to build 17 new “public and capability” classrooms, which will cover all the rural central primary schools, middle schools and primary schools in towns in Zhuanglang County, benefiting more than 35,000 primary and secondary school students.

The Spirit of Public artisans Helps Labor Education

“Dedication to public interests, acquisition of all-round capability, and aspiration for progress with each day” is the school motto of Nankai University. Nankai University combines the dedication to public interests and acquisition of all-round capability with the spirit of the craftsman, further upgrading the “public and capability” classroom into the Luban Workshop, and carrying forward the spirit of the craftsman in labor education. At present, two Luban workshops of Nankai University have been put into use in Zhuanglang Experimental Primary School and Zhuanglang Tonghua Middle School.


The core ability of the craftsman in a big country lies in diligence and creativity. Students can feel the cultural connotation of traditional Chinese crafts in the Luban Workshop of Nankai University, and enhance scientific literacy and strengthen cultural confidence through the collision of traditional culture and modern science and technology in the practice of labor education.

Regard Dedication to Public Interests as the First Word to Make Education More Effective

“Let me help you with your English!” In the recent past, the volunteer teacher team of graduate students, which is volunteering to teach in Zhuanglang No. 4 Middle School, has been in contact with the Effective Teaching Team of Nankai University to offer online English teaching courses for local students. Six key teachers from the Public English Teaching Department of Nankai University and 13 outstanding students with an average score of over 140 in the college Entrance Examination have taught together. From multi-dimensional training of listening, speaking, reading and writing to all-round improvement of English skills, from sharing learning methods to the expansion of English culture, the course helped local students learn English well in high school.

In 2016, the volunteer teacher team of graduate students from Nankai University came to Zhuanglang County to support education, which has reached 16 person-times in 4 batches. During the COVID-19 epidemic, faced with the temporary inability to return to school and resume classes, they leave school without leaving teaching , actively answering questions online for Zhuanglang No. 4 Middle School students and setting up online interest groups. They also actively guided students to use the reading booth donated by Nankai University, where students recited famous Chinese and foreign classics. It has been found that since the reading booth was put into use in November 2018, more than 6,000 people have uploaded recordings of readings. Some local students have developed a strong interest in broadcasting and hosting through reading, and have consulted members of the support group about professional registration matters. In addition, NKUers have come to Zhuanglang County to support education through activities such as the summer social practice of teachers and students, social practice teaching of the Green Horse Class the,commonweal morning run project, and the Beautiful Countryside in the New Era . This not only encourages students to walk into Zhuanglang County, but also to let students go out. In recent years, Nankai University has actively organized students from Zhuanglang High School to participate in the Science Camp for Teenagers in Tianjin, enabling them to go out of Guanshan to learn science and develop their skills through lectures, scientific experiments, visits and teacher-student exchanges.

Nankai University is always on the way of relieving poverty through education! Cao Xuetao, President of Nankai University, always keeps poverty alleviation in mind. As a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), he pointed out in a media interview during this year's Two Sessions that we should integrate educational poverty alleviation into local long-term development. The modernization of the teacher team is not only the modernization of facilities, but also the modernization of teachers' education concepts, teaching methods and teaching materials. Nankai University is honored to be able to help children change their lives through education and to help families break the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

Nankai University has a glorious patriotic tradition, which is its very soul. When Nankai University was founded, it aimed to cultivate talents for the rise of the Chinese nation. With the opening of the new century, Nankai University never forgets its mission of knowing China and serving China, keeps its original mission in mind, takes root in China, and works with Zhuanglang County in Gansu Province to win the battle against poverty in an all-round way. It takes the responsibility of Nankai University and acts as Nankai University to provide the Nankai Project for poverty alleviation through education in the new era.

(Students Feng, Wei and Xi are all pseudonyms in this article. Some pictures are provided by the Poverty Alleviation Office of Nankai University and the voluntary teacher team of graduate students)

(Reported by Jici Nie , Translated by Shanshan Gu , Edited by Daniel Stefan and JianjingYun)